Hepatitis C in urban and rural public safety workers

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A sample of 719 Oregon public safety personnel (police officers, firefighters, and corrections officers) was tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody after completing a risk questionnaire. Seven of nine positive enzyme immunoassay tests (78%) were confirmed with recombinant immunoblot assay, yielding confirmed prevalence estimates of 1.2% (95% confidence interval, 0.4 to 2.8%) among the 406 firefighters and emergency medical technicians, and 0.7% (95% confidence interval, 0.1 to 2.6%) in 274 corrections personnel. No cases were observed in the 29 participating police officers. Self-reports of the number of workplace exposures to blood were not associated with HCV positivity, and the number of years of public safety employment seemed to be slightly less for HCV-positive subjects. Two of the seven (28.6%) HCV-positive individuals reported having at least one nonoccupational,risk factor (odds ratio, 4.3; 95 % confidence interval, 0.4 to 27.1), suggesting the greater relative importance of nonoccupational exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-573
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


Cite this

Rischitelli, G., McCauley, L., Lambert, W., Lasarev, M., & Mahoney, E. (2002). Hepatitis C in urban and rural public safety workers. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 44(6), 568-573.